MountainTrue Raleigh Report

The MountainTrue Raleigh Report covers environmental politics and policy, with a focus on the issues that affect Western North Carolina. Sign up to get the Raleigh Report delivered to your inbox.

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Raleigh Report: With District Maps in Place, We Preview the Primary Election

Raleigh Report: With District Maps in Place, We Preview the Primary Election

Now that the months-long political mud wrestling match known as redistricting is over, it’s a good time to take a look at what the state’s new legislative and congressional maps mean for Western North Carolina.  We won’t go over the legislature’s – and the courts’ – torturous path to finalizing districts maps. Suffice to say that the process reached its inglorious end with decisions by both the NC and US Supreme Courts. The House and Senate maps will remain in place for a decade, but the congressional map will be redrawn next year because it was imposed by a court rather than adopted by the legislature. 

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Raleigh Report: With District Maps in Place, We Preview the Primary Election

Houston, We Have a Budget

After almost a full calendar year in session (to say nothing of a three-year delay since the last budget was approved) the North Carolina General Assembly has approved — and Governor Cooper has signed — a complete spending state plan, which now totals more than $25 billion annually.

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‘Energy Solutions’ Bill Sets North Carolina on Path to Carbon Neutrality by 2050

‘Energy Solutions’ Bill Sets North Carolina on Path to Carbon Neutrality by 2050

On Wednesday, October 13, Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill called “Energy Solution for North Carolina” or HB 951. Standing behind a podium bearing the words Securing Our Clean Energy Future, Cooper confidently asserted “ … today I will sign a historic bill that gives us an extraordinary new tool in our fight against climate change. Today, North Carolina moves strongly into a reliable and affordable clean energy future.”

Clearly, this wasn’t the same HB 951 that had been negotiated behind closed doors by House Republicans, Duke Energy, and other industry groups and passed by the House on a 57-49 vote in July.

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MT Raleigh Report: Two Good News Appointments, What’s Next at the General Assembly

MT Raleigh Report: Two Good News Appointments, What’s Next at the General Assembly

In case you missed it, two of North Carolina’s environmental leaders got new, high profile jobs recently.

First, Secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) Michael S. Regan was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Prior to leading NC DEQ, Secretary Regan led clean energy expansion programs at the Environmental Defense Fund, and also served as an air quality expert at the EPA for almost a decade. You might remember that Secretary Regan also received hundreds of public comments from MountainTrue members and our allies calling for full excavation of North Carolina’s coal ash in 2019 – a decision he ultimately ordered, resulting in the largest coal ash cleanup in US history.

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